Still, I do have a guide book and a CD. The LK150 - a beginners machine - is easy to use. Easy to use that is, once you conquer the initial set-up, casting on and correct tension. However, for me, those issues are a challenge. I get stuck before I get started. So, my goal for 2012 is to learn enough to make machine knitting a viable alternative. After all, if I am ever to make even a small dent in my stash, something faster than my own hands and a set of needles is needed.
My knitting machine light bulb went on recently, when I purchased the taupe, Linen, drop-stitch vest.
Understand that not only am I trying to learn/re-learn the machine, but I have no pattern for the vest. I need to design my own. And with my ever-present attitude that some call 'fearless' or
'en-toos- isastic' but I call my 'always-biting-off-more-than-I-can-chew' , if I was going to design my own, why not write up the pattern so I can gift it to my my machine-knitting friends? Learn a new skill while designing a pattern and at the same time write out the pattern so others can understand and use it. Can you see where this is going? Triple the knitting issues, a trio of trouble.
Add to that the challenging bit of info delivered by my friend Patti-Ann. Our mutual friend Janet knit a vest on the machine in 50 minutes. Cast on to cast off. 50 minutes.
In the first 50 minutes of my attempt, I remembered how to cast on. One thing learned. Next I moved on to the design part. In hand knitting a dropped stitch pattern is just that - a, that is one, dropped stitch. In machine knitting, dropping only one stitch gives you ribbing. Fake ribbing to be sure, but to the non-knitting eye, ribbing. Another thing learned. Rip.
Two dropped stitches turns out to be the look I am after. Now onto a gauge swatch. One. Rip. Two. Rip. Three. Rip. I stopped counting. Rip. Rip. Rip.
Finally, many multiples of fifty-minute segments later, success of a sort, has been achieved. There are a few dropped stitches where there shouldn't be dropped stitches so they will need to be tied off.